Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/81

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
63
BRITTANY.

peasant will pay twenty sous for a mass to St. Ives, sure that the Saint will cause the faithless creditor to die within the year or pay up.

His truthfulness was such that he was called "St. Yves de verité." He was the special patron of lawyers, but he does not seem to be their model.

The early monks taught the people to work, and their motto was "The Cross and the plough, labor and prayer." They introduced apples, now the principal fruit of Brittany. Much cider is made and drank; and in old times they got their wine from France in exchange for wax and honey, as they were famous bee-keepers. Great fields of buckwheat still afford food for the "yellow-breeched philosophers," and in many cottage gardens a row of queerly shaped hives stand in sunny nooks.

These monks were the model farmers of those days, and their abbeys were fine farms. One had twenty piggeries, of three hundred pigs each, in its forests. The monks also reared sheep and horses, and bred fish in their ponds.

Many were also brewers, weavers, carpenters, and so on. Evidently they lived up to their motto and